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8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way ... Read More
Everything about our cruise was great! We boarded very easily in NYC The ship, though older, is kept clean and well appointed. Restaurants: all were excellent! And I do consider myself a foodie! Have been on NCL, RCL, MSC, and way back on an Italian Line. Cunard was great in all areas; Buffet, Main Dining Room, and Verandah! Not a single line can cook a steak as well as Verandah! (Ships cannot use open flame so it’s difficult to cook a great steak without a flame!) The other point is cleanliness. Having been on all RCL mega ship crossings and each of their buffet rooms were not kept very clean when dining was going on. Waiters would wipe tables onto floor and often tables were hardly cleaned! So QM2 touché! Shows were ok. Not great but enjoyable. The walk/run deck was great! The Aqua Therapy was phenomenal and well worth the $$! Finally, as we enjoy the elegance of the QM2 the evenings, 3 of them formal, were great. The others require a jacket at dinner. (Tux are available and worth it!) The masquerade and roaring 20’s nights were a lot of fun. If you want casual go on a 7 day island cruise. If you enjoy great conversation, stimulating lectures, time to reflect and read great food, great drinks, formal evenings then go on QM2! And finally they do not beg for good reviews! PS our review for excursions says Excellent. But their weren’t any! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked ... Read More
My first impressions began with late lunch on embarkation day in Kings Court. Dodging employees with food carts, they didn’t give way for guests - to the point of being dangerous. Good food selections available, although meat over cooked to toughness. First day party impressive poolside and music was excellent as we watched NYC fade away. Our eight-person seating companions at dinner each evening were excellent and we promised to stay in touch. Disappointed in repeated shows in planetarium. Was hoping for something other than dark matter and meteorites. Arson lecture was really good. As was lecture on British history. Live shows excellent in theater but very short. My very favorite restaurant was the Golden Lion. Trivia contests and space sharing brought us in contact with so many fine people for the fun competitions. My biggest concern was uneven flooring that felt like rotting wood under carpets, especially in the casino. With all the alleged grandeur, this seemed dodgy. Would not opt for balcony cabin again. North Atlantic, even in dead summer, is not conducive to enjoying outdoors. We didn’t use it. Food good in Britannia but as I don’t drink much alcohol, waiter acted as if I was less than when I ordered a soft drink with my dinner. Public spaces are beautiful. I might do it again, but looking at nothing but water for seven straight days was trying. I was excited on day six when I saw actually spied a bird as we approached land. All in all, I wasn’t all that impressed after reading all the glorious reviews about this glamorous ocean liner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my partner's birthday with a transatlantic crossing that included many destinations on our bucket list. We have been on other cruises in the Mediterranean and also South America - they were fabulous experiences that cemented our enjoyment of cruising. What we didn't know was that Cunard really only cater for people over 70. For people in this age category the cruise would have been a wonderful experience. All activities, meals, shows, events, excursions cater for this group. Even the entertainment coordinator was bland. The comedy shows were by people from the 60's and 70's where racist and sexist jokes were the norm. Sadly these acts hadn't changed their material. The only activities appeared to be quizzes or card games or ballroom dancing. There were no live bands playing popular music, sing alongs around the piano bar, live music and comedy shows around the pool. Frankly it was boring. The internet is also the slowest that we have ever experienced on a cruise ship. When on board we also found that for people who booked in Australia the cruise was for 15 days, whereas those from the UK had 18 days which included the Guernsey. Both were the same price! Not sure why Australians were given a different deal. Cunard also doesn't seem to care if people complain as they do not respond promptly if at all. Very disappointed. Perhaps when I am 80 I may consider another cruise with Cunard. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother ... Read More
We sailed on the Queen Elizabeth in late July on a 15 night North Atlantic crossing.. The ship was built in 2010 and is the sister ship of the older Queen victoria. Both ships are Vista Class ships. Carnival Corporation, Cunards mother company, built a number of these vista class ships for its various fleets and aside from the two Cunard ships,a good number were built for Holland America, Costa and P&O, Having previously sailed on Holland America's Niew Amsterdam and Eurodam, I felt very much at home with the general layout of the Queen Elizabeth. However, by comparison, I found the Holland America ships to be far superior in many ways to the Queen Elizabeth: 1) Contrary to other Carnival owned cruise lines, Cunard ships have three distinct classes of guest accomodations: the Grill, the Britannia Club and the Britannia. Both the Grill and the Britannia Club passengers enjoy exclusive restaurants with the Grill passengers also enjoying indour and outdour exclusive areas. As a result. there is obviously less additional common areas to be enjoyed by Britannia class passengers. There is only one specialty restaurant available to all passengers ($40 per person). 2) Although the food quality is comparable to that found on Celebrity and Holland America ships, the service, especially in the Lido buffet restaurant leaves much to be desired. For instance, at breakfast, there is no coffee or juice service at the table and the coffee in the large coffee machines is constantly being re-heated leaving a bitter taste. Also, there is not enough personel cleaning and setting tables in the Lido (I presume this would not the case in Grill and Britannia Club restaurants). 3) Although the Queen Elizabeth is the more recent version of Vista Class ships, it lacks certain characteristics of older Vista class sister ships; There is no retractable roof over the pool (a must for transatlantic passages) nor are there automatic sensor doors to the rear and central parts of the ship which I found annoying when attempting to open doors with a drink and plate in hand. 4) The internet is terrible. If you are paying a premium price for an internet package you should not experience sporadic reception and you should not expect to pay for the many minutes it takes to log in and log out. If you are into serious Ball Room dancing you will be vary happy. There were the same few dozen couples who regularly took part in dancing while the rest of us enjoyed their performance. I would estimate that the average age of passengers is around 75. The entertainment is geared to this age group with music of the 50's and 60's together with a dose of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole era songs. It felt like I was visiting a floating senior citizens residence. Cunard passengers are very loyal but I wonder how it will go about recruiting a younger generation of passengers. Cunard should be commended for the quality of guest speakers and the range of topics is excellent. If I do take another Cunard cruise it would be for the destination and not the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed ... Read More
Would we go again on Cunard's Queen Elizabeth ? Absolutely. This was a late July east-bound transatlantic cruise with stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Iceland, Scotland, Dublin and finally Southampton. We were generally blessed with fine weather and calm seas; there was some movement on the north Atlantic but not enough to bother most people. Try to get your stateroom as close to the middle of the ship and as low as possible; it will minimize the rock-and-roll if there is any. Embarkation from Manhattan Terminal was perfect. From street to stateroom in 30 minutes. The ship is very elegant as others have said. it is sparkling in its art-deco appearance and it is very well-maintained, inside and out. Painting and maintenance are ongoing when we were at port. It is the very model of an elegant luxury cruise ship. We had 4 formal nights on the 15 day cruise; men in dark suits or tuxedos; women in gowns or smart cocktail dresses. Casual during the day but formal at night; it was not mandatory but for those not dressed up they had special dining locations those evenings. After the 3rd night I could get into my tux in 10 minutes, much faster than the first night. It was a chore the first night but it was special to dress up on this elegant ship. It takes a day or two to discover all the places on the ship and I'm sure I missed some. There are many public spaces where you can relax and read; many bars and cafes throughout the ship. Overall you get both a big but also intimate feeling on this ship. The library was very impressive; two stories with dark wood furnishings. My wife and I reserved the Queen's Grill Suite (Q4) Room 7088. On the QE there are 3 passenger classes: Britannia, Princess Grill and Queen's Grill. If it were a plane, Britannia would be economy, PG would be business and QG would be first-class. There is also Britannia Club which is a step above Britannia. The PG and QG restaurants are two, separate but similar restaurants on Deck 11 with similar menus and service. It is hard to tell the difference. They share a common lounge between the restaurants for PG and QG passengers. Apart from that, the rest of the ship is available to everyone. The PG and QG meals are served in their respective restaurants, including afternoon tea. For Britannia class, there is a large impressive restaurant in the aft of the ship; afternoon tea is served in the Queen's Room which is also the dance floor. The staterooms are of course larger for the QG than for the PG than for Britannia. Overall I think the QG is not that much different than PG. Service and attentiveness was very good. The big difference for the Grills is that you can have dinner anytime after 6 pm. For Britannia there is an early and late seating. We found the flexibility of the QG/PG to be very convenient. There are a mix of 2-tables, 4-tables, and 8-table sizes. My wife and I enjoyed our dinner mates very much at the 8-table size and we became friends. Food was very good but not great. The Verandah ($39 supplement) had much better steaks than at the QG; our dinnermates and we decided to go down there one night just to get something different and we all agreed that V was much better. Of course not everyone wants to pay a supplement for dinner when they have already paid for the cruise which could explain why the Verandah was not very busy. But it was worth it for the food. Age group was mainly in the 65+ crowd although there were some people in their 30s and 40s with children (ages 6-10) but this younger group was less than 10% of the passengers. Most were from UK, US, Australia, New Zealand. With QG there is refreshed wine and liquors in your stateroom each night, as well as refilled min-fridge at no charge. An Illy coffeemaker with refreshed tea, creamer, and coffee is provided. As well as evening canapes. This is in QG. Certainly nice touches but I think you could scrape by on PG or Britannia depending on what you are looking for. Activities on the ship were fine with lectures and high production value shows every night at 8:30 and 10:30 each night. Lectures on Broadway, Weather Prediction, Space Exploration, the upcoming ports were very good. The port excursions were generally well-organized and interesting. They are not inexpensive! And you may be able to find better value with some planning. But be sure to return to the ship on time! There are a few washing machines and dryers on each deck but not anywhere enough, so there was jockeying and some harsh words in the competition for them. Better to do your own delicates and send out the rest to the ship laundry which has a charge. I agree with others about the atrocious internet. Slow to connect, slow to use, and slow to disconnect. At $45 for 2 hours, Cunard probably makes as much on the internet as the cruise! You can't just shut off the computer because your account is still open until you sign off which was so slow I didn't know if I signed of at all. I had to call the purser every time to make sure they signed me off. Fortunately the long-suffering IT guy gave me back 45 minutes which was spent trying to get on and off the service. Befoe leaving home,sign on with your local wireless provider to use the port-days with discounted International Roaming. It is much faster and less expensive. Disembarkation was also perfect.Remember to leave some day clothes out before you go to sleep on the last night. Your luggage will be off the ship overnight so make sure you have something to wear on the last morning! We had a great time and we would do it again although we might try PG or Britannia Club for comparable value since 90% of the rest of the ship and activities are open to everyone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and ... Read More
We had not previously been on an ocean cruise, but for our 50th wedding anniversary we wanted to treat ourselves to something special. So we booked a 15-night New York to Southampton cruise with stops in Canada, Iceland, Scotland and Ireland. It was a world away from our usual quiet life in rural Tasmania, but we had high hopes that the Queen Elizabeth would give us a truly memorable cruising experience, and we were not disappointed. Check-in: We boarded at the Manhattan cruise terminal which was easily accessible from our central NY hotel. Our cruise was the final leg of a much longer itinerary that had started in Vancouver, so this was not a full change-over day for the ship. Consequently there were only a few other passengers arriving at the same time, and the whole process was quick and easy with no queuing. We had been given a 12.30 check-in time and within 20 minutes we were in our cabin with luggage already delivered. It probably doesn't get any better than that; our holiday was already off to a perfect start. Cabin: We had dug deep for our anniversary treat and booked a Q4 Penthouse midships on deck 7. This was truly wonderful; a large and well appointed room with plenty of space to relax both inside and out on the balcony, a walk-in wardrobe with more than enough hanging space for 15 evenings of dress-up finery, a huge comfortable bed, and a bathroom with shower, deep spa bath and separate toilet. Nothing about the room was a disappointment, and the experience was made extra special by the butler Manny and his team. They were incredibly attentive with the room fully cleaned while we were at breakfast, everything restocked including the complimentary bar, fruit and flowers replaced regularly, canapes delivered each afternoon, and refresh/turn-down every evening while we had dinner. One of the really nice Cunard touches is that the staff know you by name and make a genuine effort to remember and deliver on your personal preferences. Meals: We ate mostly in the Queens Grill restaurant but also tried a couple of pub lunches after days ashore, and had room service occasionally. All were good, but the Queens Grill is exceptional for both the food/drink and for the service. It is a relatively small restaurant, less than 100 guests, and because you can eat at the time that suits you (for example, arrive for dinner anytime between 6.30pm and 9pm) it never seemed overly busy or crowded. There was really nothing that we could say to fault this restaurant; the range and quality of food was outstanding, plus a dedicated chef would try to produce anything off-menu if given a few hours notice and if they had the ingredients onboard. We asked for rabbit pie one evening which really wasn't much of a challenge for the chef but was duly produced and served at our table with theatrical panache. The Queens Grill provides a very sophisticated and indulgent silver-service atmosphere, part of the overall Cunard theme of reprising the 1940s/50s heyday of transatlantic voyages. In keeping with this, most Grills guests dressed “smart casual” for breakfast and lunch, then everyone dressed more formally for the evenings in keeping with the designated dress code of the day. Activities: During sea days there was always plenty to do onboard, both for organised activities or do your own thing. You can be as active or inactive as you like. We really enjoyed the outdoor games areas with quoits, croquet, carpet bowls, shuffleboard and paddle tennis, plus swimming and table tennis. Entertainment: The main entertainments included a classical concert most afternoons and then ballroom dancing and 2 theatre performances each evening. We found the shows to be mostly of an okay standard; enjoyable, glitzy and good enough for free onboard entertainment but not really outstanding. The theatre has a number of private 2-person boxes which can be reserved at an extra cost with champagne and nibbles on some evenings but are otherwise available freely to anyone who arrives early. Stewards are on hand to bring drinks. All passengers are expected to respect the after-6pm dress code in the theatre and ballroom. Final reflections: We researched Cunard here on Cruise Critic and elsewhere before deciding that they were likely met our needs. We were aware that a number of reviewers have not been happy with their Cunard experience but this often seems to be related to differing expectations of the type of cruise that these three “Queens” offer. This is not a party boat, and not primarily targeted to families and other younger cruisers although there are some facilities for children. The target market is very clearly aimed at a generally older group who enjoy a slower and more genteel pace of life. Other frequent criticisms of Cunard seem to focus on the so-called “class” system, the after-6pm dress code, and the price of drinks. In our experience this “class” distinction is really a non-issue; it's no different from most airlines where you can book economy and get a good service or book a more expensive seat that gives you perks like shorter queues at the airport, more personal space on the flight and a larger choice of meals. It's a choice for everyone to make, unlike a real class system in which there is usually no choice. The after-6pm dress code seems to annoy some people but in our view is central to understanding what Cunard is offering its passengers. Things like the flamboyant art-deco style throughout the ship, the white-gloved waiters, the traditional afternoon teas, the ballroom dancing, the silver-service ambience in the main restaurants, are all designed to create an evening atmosphere of old-world elegance, charm and sophistication. The ship and the crew deliver on this, and the passengers are also expected to deliver. The entire Cunard cruise is a piece of theatre in which passengers live the retro experience of an age when good manners and gracious living were valued. Nobody is forced to dress formally – there are areas of the ship that are more relaxed – but clearly for the vast majority of passengers the evening elegance is an important part of what makes the cruise special. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit our time schedule for a vacation. We thought it would be exciting to be in Boston for the Fourth of July and the departure port in Brooklyn was a simple 3 Hour Drive from our home. I blame myself a little for not researching the cruise more. We booked last minute, and we thought it would just be a lot of fun. We did not have passports as we don’t travel a ton outside Mexico and Canada. We were told by Cunard we could not have pre printed E tickets due to the fact that we did not have passports. This was a huge source of stress. I knew our enhanced licenses and birth certificates would be fine for getting us in and out of the country, but just not sure how it would all work. Getting on the boat was a complete disaster. We waited in line with everyone else for three hours. There were so many disabled people and elderly getting on the boat that simply had to go ahead of us. No one followed the time on their ticket and we were told to come at noon because we were unable to get pre printed tickets. The whole process was chaotic and confusing and people were very upset. Elderly people in line with us struggled to stand for three hours. There was no place to get anything to drink or eat. We had not eaten since the morning and didn’t enter the boat until 3 PM. People did not want to get out of line to even go to the restroom, because tempers were running thin. While waiting in line to enter the boat, we realized that we were probably some of the youngest passengers. Mind you we are not young in her late 40s. So basically getting on the boat was terrible. If I were getting on the boat again in Brooklyn I would get there around 3 PM. The boat didn’t even leave port until after eight due to a medical emergency and the boat being held for a flight coming from England containing eight passengers. Activities on the boat are OK. There is a lot to do. Definitely geared towards older people. If you are an active younger couple or group of people, I would suggest another cruise. We were interested in a fun time in wanted to be active during the day and have beautiful dinners and some nightlife in the evening. Activity was hindered by the poor condition of the swimming pools and hot tubs. Most of the hot tubs didn’t even work. They were simply warm small pools in need of painting and maintenance with no jets. The pools are not extremely clean and we’re in need of repair and paintings well. Be forewarned the Queen Mary two does not have five pools as advertised. One of the pools on the very top deck must have been removed in the refurbishment in 2016. We were disappointed with our lack of options for swimming and lounging during the day as the weather was quite favorable for such activity. One of the outdoor pools was netted for the entire cruise, so It was unable to be used by any of the passengers. Frankly the condition and access to pools was unacceptable. The walking deck, deck seven, was often closed in sections making it impossible to walk loops around the deck. Once again the Queen Mary fell short in providing the simplest of activity. The food was not bad. We enjoyed the main dining room three nights out of our seven night cruise. Our poor waiter really struggled with English and this hindered us from getting great service. He did try his hardest though. The food in the main dining room was presented nicely and there was a pretty good variety. The main buffet was also sufficient, but became a bit repetitive after seven days. I’m not sure how somebody does a 14 or 27 day cruise eating the same food over and over. The quality was quite good and overall we were usually able to find something we really liked. We were in cabin 4022. This was a sheltered balcony in the front of the boat. I’ve very favorable things to say about the cabin. Our steward Gerry was very friendly and hard-working. He did a good job cleaning the room quickly and was helpful when we had questions. Although the room was not brand new or in sparkling shape it was a fine cabin. Even for being in the front of the boat, I found there to be little motion or disturbance. Nightlife was also disappointing. Pretty much after 10 PM the place shuts down. The shows we saw in the royal court theater were nice. The dancers, singers and orchestra put on a wonderful production. There’s a nightly movie in the illuminations theater, but we were looking for more engaging activities. The night club is open later, but when we visited there it was quite empty. So basically if you’re not interested in going to bed around 10 or 11 PM you’ll have trouble finding anything to do. The ports we visited were wonderful and a lot of fun. Halifax with a cute little city and we enjoyed our time walking around shopping and visiting museums. Boston was a great deal of fun as well, We did the trolley tour and then met up with our niece later. We like to walk, so we did walk a couple miles back to the boat. Not a bad walk but it was pretty hot when we did it. We viewed the highest of the fireworks from the top deck. We had fun in Newport Rhode Island, but getting off the boat was another disaster. We had booked a tour that was canceled because they could not run the tenders due to fog. I understand they have no control of the fog or the weather. The problem we encountered was they told us not to get tickets for the tender, but when our tour was canceled They required us to have tickets. Consequently we were in the back of the line and one of the last tenders to go out to Newport. We only had a couple of hours to spend in Port. The kicker is the captain and staff went on and on about How incredibly unsafe it would be to run the tenders during the fog in the morning. They canceled the tours and we were understanding because we all wanted to be safe. The problem I have is when we return to the boat after visiting Newport the fog had returned. No one spoke of any safety issues or concerns as they loaded us on to the tender and we took the small boat in the thick fog back to the Queen Mary 2. It was so foggy that when we finally returned to the crew ship the 100 passengers broke out in cheers and were clapping As we were so relieved. It seems they were concerned about our safety in the morning, when the fog had returned in the afternoon our safety seem to go out the window because they were more concerned with keeping their schedule. In the end we had a good time because we made our own fun. I highly recommend this cruise for older people who want a nice quiet time. If you’re younger or want fun and a little nightlife look elsewhere. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was ... Read More
Embarkation: Worse experience ever. Almost 2 hours just to check-in at the port. Two lines – one for priority one for steerage (us). Our line did not move. Meanwhile they closed our line (about 15 people behind us) and everyone was sent to the priority line. We watched people get in line an hour after us and checked-in within 20 mins or less. Were told the reason for our line not moving was that they permitted all those with wheelchairs or strollers (who were in a separate line) to check in immediately from our side. If this was the case then why didn’t they take people from both sides for the next available check-in counter? This was our 7th cruise on five different lines and we have never taken more than 15 mins. (if that long) for check-in. Cunard should be embarrassed. This was unacceptable and inexcusable and is how our vacation started. When we finally made it to the ship, dropped off our carry-on in the cabin and went to grab some lunch (because we spent lunch in line waiting to check-in) it was almost 3:30 p.m. and they were clearing the food from the buffet. Not a great first impression. Disembarkation: This was fine. We got in a line when we were ready (rather than waiting for the designated times provided by Cunard) and other than getting stuck behind two people who could not get their wheelchairs over the ramp, it took about 10 mins. Cabin: The cabin was fine. The furnishings were outdated, dusty in places, dirty carpeting (not just in need of a good vacuuming but stains), mold in the bathroom but there was plenty of closet and storage space for two people and the bed and pillows were comfortable. Horrible sewage odor at all times in the bathroom. We never, and I mean never, met our steward. We knew his name because there was a card in the room and we saw him in the hallway a couple of times but he never introduced himself or stopped by to see if we needed anything (we left him an extra tip every day too) – EXCEPT when we were still in the room at 8:30 a.m. on disembarkation day – then he knocked on the door and told us we had to leave. Again, having been on six other cruises this is the first time a steward was incognito. The location of our cabin was good. We had an inside midship (between stairs C and D but closest to D). HOWEVER, the cabin vibrated constantly – the bed, sitting on the toilet, the floor, sitting in the chair – the entire cabin almost the entire time. We couldn’t understand why because we were on deck 4 above the Britannia dining room. This was very annoying. Dining: The buffet set-up was weird – multiple locations separated by eating areas. The dining areas in the buffet were great but the buffet itself was very limited, especially at breakfast where there was no variety – same thing every day and they didn’t have bananas or hard boiled eggs. We ate in the Britannia for dinner all nights except the last (didn't like the menu). Britannia menu was also very limited but overall the food was good and service was very good. We were however disappointed because we were originally told we would be at a table of six but had a table for two. It would have been nice to have tablemates and I don’t know why they changed this from our initial reservation. Bars/Lounges: Golden Lion was nice, especially for lunch – it was always crowded and very difficult to find a seat. We didn’t experience Carinthia or Commodore. Drink prices were surprisingly affordable, including bottles of wine. Wine selection was extensive. Entertainment: The few shows were good, especially the comedian. We did not attend any of the lectures. Afternoon Tea: Afternoon tea was the best part of the cruise. Finger sandwiches, desserts, scones. All of it was delicious and decadent. Activities: What surprised me the most was the lack of organized activities. There were things to do throughout the day such as lectures, movies, trivia but there were only a couple of actual organized activities with cruise staff throughout the entire cruise. Ports: Halifax - great day – no issues. We were delayed getting into Boston and then had to go immigration. Similar to disembarkation we were supposed to go through at specified times but it seemed like everyone got in line immediately and it wrapped around almost the length of the ship. We waited 90 minutes before going to immigration and got through in about 5 minutes (great decision). Newport – we tendered and got fogged in so could not get off the ship until about 1 p.m. Tender ticket issuing was poorly handled, extremely disorganized and it took a very long time to get everyone who wanted to off the ship. Once on shore we only had about 3 hours to explore – disappointing. Pools/Spas: The children’s pool was closed the entire cruise because of an issue with soot from the smoke stacks landing in the pool. The other pool was fine but the hot tubs were not hot (the heaters were broken and were supposed to be fixed when we were in Boston but they weren’t). The inside pool and spas were always crowded. Casino: The casino was very small with a number of slot machines, a few black jack tables and a roulette table but no poker tables. Outside/Smoking Areas: One big issue was that the children’s pool was on deck six aft directly below deck seven aft which was the smoking section and deck eight aft which was the location of the outside pool as well as an additional smoking area. That meant that smoke wafted down (especially cigar smoke) to deck six where most of the lounge chairs were. Deck 13 (sports deck) was fine to get away from it all except they only had about 20 lounge chairs out and all others were stacked and covered. The deck chairs on the promenade were plentiful and always filled. Overall the cons far outweighed the pros for this cruise. If you like cruising (for me it’s about the destinations) with not a lot to do throughout the day/night, this is for you. Personally I thought the food options were very limited without much variety and was extremely displeased with the embarkation process. Fellow passengers were fantastic. I would only cruise Cunard again if the price was right. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
I choose a transatlantic cruise onboard the magnificent QM2 which departed New York in mid June. I was looking for a complete break after a particularly hectic period and couldn’t have imagined how thoroughly revitalising the experience ... Read More
I choose a transatlantic cruise onboard the magnificent QM2 which departed New York in mid June. I was looking for a complete break after a particularly hectic period and couldn’t have imagined how thoroughly revitalising the experience would end up being. I travelled solo and was amazed at the sheer quantity and variety of things to do - along with the choice to do as much or as little as you like. A typical day for me consisted of breakfast in bed, a walk and sometimes a long sit on the Upper deck, a light buffet lunch, one of the activities in the afternoon (often a short insight tour) or a visit to the library, a workout or pool visit and then the nightly LGBT happy hour each evening at 17:00 in the Commodore Club. I’d then have a late sitting dinner in the Britannia restaurant, where the food was good restaurant quality, on an excellent table of 8 great fellow voyagers, followed by a drink or maybe a spot of roulette in the casino - and repeat! Guests were super friendly and very sociable everywhere onboard and this was really noticeable from day 2, when people started to relax and get into the swing of the voyage. The LGBT happy hour was an absolute blast and a great way to meet like minded people - I met some fantastic people there and also stayed in touch with some of my table colleagues. Service everywhere was genuinely exceptional and the ship is meticulously run - in terms of organisation. As for the ship - she is magnificent in so many ways and I’m so grateful that Cunard had the vision to build a genuine ocean liner to replace the QE2. Gazing out into the vastness of the Atlantic Ocean From the promenade decks is a humbling and wonderful way to spend some reflective tine! I left Southampton totally revitalised with some amazing memories - so much so that I’m doing another crossing, this time from Southampton to New York, just before Christmas and for less than the price of a premium economy airfare. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
My wife and I made a crossing from New York to Southampton on the QM2 in late May. The weather cooperated pretty well except for the first day that was very windy with high seas. The paper bags were out for those who needed them. I did ... Read More
My wife and I made a crossing from New York to Southampton on the QM2 in late May. The weather cooperated pretty well except for the first day that was very windy with high seas. The paper bags were out for those who needed them. I did take a Bonine tab myself and felt fine for the rest of the day. The service on the ship was great and the list of lecturers and performers was also first rate. The food fell back into the "almost as good as" category as it was very British, as to say drab. Even the steak at the Veranda was a notch below what I would expect from a steakhouse in a major city. But the sad part of the ship experience was the lack of technology. The WiFi was definitely in the last century as far as performance and the lack of any apps to keep track of the events onboard or to communicate with others in your party was amazing to me after recent cruises on Princess and Disney. I know this is not a cruise ship but that is no excuse for falling so far behind the curve in this area. Also, the ship design itself was a series of ups and downs to get anywhere. If you wanted to get to the ballroom in front on level 3 you had to go down to level 2. All around the ship there were small lifts for people in wheelchairs because of the poor layout. It may be too late to fix the layout problems without a major overhaul but the technology items need to be looked at now. Why do I still give it a Very Good rating? Because, though it is on the edge of being only good it was certainly not an average voyage. The room, entertainment and education features were excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I ... Read More
Mostly staff were friendly and polite, but not all, a couple were vert curt and rude, and seem to begrudge serving you, except in our dining room in the evenings, which was always good. I am always polite and expect the same in return. I had terrible Food Poisoning after having Scrimp soup. The Medical team didn't seem interested, they just sent up some Paracetamols, which they promptly charged me for. Then whilst I was in bed recovering they wanted to send in chemical cleaners to the room. I was told that other's went down with this same Food Poisoning by someone on the ship, but Cunard are now denying this and putting it down to Novo virus. It was Food Poisoning! It took me weeks to recover. Also, my companion on the ship had a terrible reaction to the shower gel. He couldn't see out of one of his eyes and he looked like he'd been in a boxing ring for days and done 6 rounds. They couldn't have cared less about that either. Although the food made me ill the waitress at our table was delightful and the service from her and her colleague was excellent. As well as this there was an awful smell of sewage coming up through the sink in our room. The carpets were dirty in a number of places too. I don't know how they can call this 5 star? I'd been on this ship before, but it has gone down hill. Go on a cruise with another company, the Customer Services with this one are rubbish when you have a problem. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first time aboard the QM2 or any other Cunard ship, but we are very seasoned cruisers in other cruise lines. We were really excited in anticipation of our crossing and the next 17 days aboard the QM2, since the second leg ... Read More
This was our first time aboard the QM2 or any other Cunard ship, but we are very seasoned cruisers in other cruise lines. We were really excited in anticipation of our crossing and the next 17 days aboard the QM2, since the second leg of our cruise was the beginning of thieir World Cruise which normally shows the cruise lines best efforts since the world cruise caters to seasoned and most likely repeat customers. We were in a Queens Grill suite Q5 which placed us almost at the top of the accommodations list. Embarkation went seeemless since indeed there was a line for the Queen’s Grill suites and in no time we were aboard. We had seen videos and pictures of similar cabins to ours but still it was not like walking in. The suite was much smaller than what we were used and it had less amenities. The bathroom only had one sink, no separate shower, no separate commode area. Closet and storage spaces were adequate. Our luggage arrive ñd increadible promptly after we checked which impressed us. Shortly after checking in the butler speared and gave us a Craps course on the suite and told us that we could order up to bottles of liquor complimentary but anything else would have a charge. This is not what we are used to since the cruise lines we were used to travel we could order as many different kind of liquor that we wanted and they were provided. We were excited about sailing out of NY harbor, although we have done is before, it’s always exciting sailing past the Satutye of Liberty. We were a couple of hours late leaving because of minor problems. We had a liquor package that allows to get any free drink that we wanted as long at it did not cost more than US$12 each. We ordered our first drink and promptly found out that the drinks were based on one ounce of the liquor, the bar tender measured the actual ounce. Have you a a “one ounce” drink lately? The bartenders do knit know what free pouring means. We learned fast that we had to tell the bartenders that we were in the under $12 drink program and if you asked them for a two ounce drink or larger, we could get it but the bartender would have to ring it as you had multiple single drinks that felt into the less than $12 pricing. Also you had to give your cruise card every time you order a drink and you have to sign a receipt every time. Total pain in the rear. We are used to travel in cruise lines were all drinks are inclusive so we never had to signed for anything other than when we boarded and registered our credit card for incidentals. In order to get a “decent” or “normal” glass of wine at dinner or lunch your sommelier has to charge you to single glasses since one ounce of wine doesn’t go very far. Another thing we did not like were the assigned tables. We sat in the same table for 26 days, breakfast, lunch or dinner as long as we are in the Queen’s Grill. There cannot be any expontinuity even if you meet new people during the voyage who are in the same Queen Grill category since it’s almost impossible to orchestrate the one time dinner without a major reassignment. On the very positive side the food in the Grill was outstanding and the maitre d’ came over at lunch time to find out if we wanted anything special, not in the menu, for dinner. We order caviar, beef Wellington, crepe Suzette’s, etc. All beautifully cooked and most of the special dishes prepared at the table including flambé at table side. We tried eating in other Venus but they were ver hective specially the huge King’s Court were there are all sorts of buffers but you had to fight other people to reach the buffet table or if you wanted an omelet or poached eggs you had to stand on a cue. The QM2 is two ships in one the Grills passenger and the rest of the passengers. Keep in mind that one can cross the Atlantic for less than $2,000 per person and you have the ability to have 6 or 7 meals a day plus all the shows, lectures, etc. We found out the hard way when we went to popular-we’ll-known lectures and/or featured entertainer that we could not wait till the last minute since people start curing up long before the starting time and we were in standing room. I could go on but I think you can get the drift of my experience. We were extremely disappointed with the QM2 experience. We had dreams of great ocean liners experienced that we have seen in the movies but it was really no very pleasant experience. QM2 allure, reputation and lore is bigger than the actual experience. We would not go back aboard this ship again, but if I were forced to go back I would take a crossing and that’s it. In our 26 nights aboard we noticed that the crossing lecturer, entertainers, etc. where global in orientation once we left Southampton to Dubai the lectures, entertainers etc, were very British-centered and you had to be able to understand their accents in many cases. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
If you have a Disability like me with wearing an Air-Cast Boot and partly blind with a cane the staff won't help you and not even at the terminal in Brooklyn, NY. This was for embarkation and I was alone traveling. The cabin was ... Read More
If you have a Disability like me with wearing an Air-Cast Boot and partly blind with a cane the staff won't help you and not even at the terminal in Brooklyn, NY. This was for embarkation and I was alone traveling. The cabin was very nice and the Cabin boy I had was wonderful. He made sure everything was well stocked. The Britannia Restaurant is very nice and my dinner companiens are wonderful and glad they sat with me at the table. I each gave them a box of Fudge to say Thank You. However QM2 knew I was a vegan and they did not bother to get products for me. The Chef did not even know what yams are.! Makes you wonder.? Staff in the Britannia very stuffy as they did not want to smile most of the time. The Entertainment was fantastic and the Dancers amazing. Went to afternoon Tea and they served products with Nuts in and had an allergic reaction and medical and staff did not care and took me 2 days to recover. One day I asked for toast and on the side I had mold on. Service from the staff very Rude and talked about guests behind your back in own language that I can understand. No Ports of shore as went right to Southampton from Brooklyn, NY As for Disembarkation was the same problem as staff did not care if you have a Disability. After I got off my bags went on the floor and yes I cried. The security in Southampton are wonderful and they helped me since QM2 staff could not care. In my opinion I would never go back on the QM2 due to the problems and staff. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other ... Read More
I was on this cruise to celebrate my birthday. The ship was nicely decorated for the Holidays with even a small Christmas tree in our suite. We got lots of chocolate in the suite, at tea, and in the Princess Grill. Only 4 other people showed up for the Cruise Critic gathering on the first sea day. This lack of interest has happened on the past few cruises, no matter what line. They were setting up for a wedding where we met so I felt like I was in the way. One of the ladies told us about the books written by the bar waiter, so I bought them and look forward to reading them. He graciously signed them for me. We didn't stay up for NYE, so were interested in what was reported in a blog by one of the other passengers. We were in the Princess Grill which was wonderful. I booked the Veranda Steakhouse for my birthday, the last evening. Should have stayed in the Princess Grill, it is much nicer, less hectic and has better food, although we did have a couple of kids in PG who let loose once in awhile. Did not expect that. Cunard overbooked the PG and offered us and some others a free cruise if we would downgrade. We refused the offer. We had sailed on the QM2 once before in the sheltered balcony they offered us which was okay, but I wanted to see how the PG was in comparison with when we were upgraded to PG on the QE2. I am glad that we did it, but don't think we will do it again. Been there, done that. We had been to all of the ports before, so didn't take any excursions even though we had quite a bit of on board credit. Our port schedule was changed when it was too rough to go to Antigua and St. Kitts replaced it. This was on Boxing Day which is the start of their Carnival celebration. Stores were closed except the port shops and there was a big parade and crowds of people. We had to tender there and in St. Lucia. The weather was pretty good except for rain off and on in St. Maarten. The ship is very nice but sometimes difficult to navigate. The Queen's Room was very crowded at times. The entertainment was great but we had to get there early to get a decent seat. This happens on other ships though. Having some free internet time was nice but it was so slow that I couldn't do much. Missed seeing the American football games, particularly the Rose Bowl, only British soccer was shown. The water in the outdoor pool was cool even in the Caribbean, so I went to the hot tub on the Grill deck. They even served tea and scones up there which was very nice. I was surprised that even though the children seemed to have their own pool, they were still in the pool that said it was only for age 18 and over. The warmer indoor pool was full of kids, so I only went there once. We received two lovely cups and saucers with the Cunard ship logos on them, wondered if everyone else had. We had discarded some of the luggage tags that we put on prior to boarding and then found out we were supposed to use them again for disembarkation. Have never done this before on any of our cruises. I still had one on my larger bag, but it was placed in the wrong area in NY, as was my other bag with a new, handwritten tag they gave me. It took me awhile to find my bags and the people there didn't seem to know what was going on. Not sure if we will ever go on a World Cruise, but if we do, it will not be on this line. I am getting used to the other lines which don't make me dress up. We did like formals in our younger days. My number of cruises is about to pass my age, so I guess that's why my tastes are not what they used to be. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to ... Read More
We chose this ship because we wanted to return from the USA after visiting Florida, San Diego and finally New York. - we were staying for 8 weeks in the USA and we have used a cruise ship to go over and back before and it was great to avoid the long haul flights. For a disabled cabin 7002 was on the small size with just enough room for a disabled user and that is all. The room did have a roll in shower but only just enough room to get my small mobility scooter in and close the door. Having seen another review for this cabin 7002 on line here we did what they suggested and asked for the twin beds option or l would not have been able to get close enough to the bed to get in!! So we re-arranged the room and moved the small table over to the end of my husbands bed and managed that way. However no way as a disabled user would l want to be in this size cabin for longer than a week. Think a standard size cabin where they have taken the extra space out to enlarge the bathroom for a walk in shower and you pretty much have it. You can manage but some of the larger cruise lines outshine Cunard on the size of this disabled cabin. The ship was lovely and quiet compared to some other lines......lovely food and fair entertainment. Have to say that having been on many other lines and sailed with Cunard before that l was slightly disappointed with the standard of their theatre shows this time. Their own shows with their dancers and singers were not to the standard of other ship casts. The only other negative point is that the spar pool no longer has a disabled lift in it to be able to use the pool. We had taken a week spar package on a previous sailing and l enjoyed using the pool. So that was a no to a swimming for a whole week because the one on the upper decks was not possible to access. So for a line such as Cunard that was a great disappointment. However the rest of the cruise was very relaxing and laid back we enjoyed the meals and the good service and the ship looked lovely as she was completely dressed ready for Xmas - so had a lovely atmosphere. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Just a little history ,this was our 41st Cruise and our 3 rd on The QM2 , we've cruised all the major Cruise lines ,from inside cabins to Owners suites ,So we pretty much know what to expect . We choose this cruise because it seemed ... Read More
Just a little history ,this was our 41st Cruise and our 3 rd on The QM2 , we've cruised all the major Cruise lines ,from inside cabins to Owners suites ,So we pretty much know what to expect . We choose this cruise because it seemed like a good value and according to all the printed material we viewed online ,they were staying to 10 PM on 2 of our favorite Islands , St Maarten and Barbados . [ see attached pics] At the time In May when we decided to book on Cunard we already had a Cruise booked at the same time [RCCL Anthem] so we had to pay 200.00 to re-book the RCCL cruise to a later date and booked on the QM2 . All went fairly smooth as we live on long Island ,and had car service to the Pier . Embarkation was a little slow ,But we were on the ship within one hour . The ship itself is a very elegant, But showing wear in both the staterooms and common area's ,Like in many places there are "soft spots " in the floor ,where you step down and get the feeling that the Carpet is all thats supporting you ,some were actually marked with cones . The Good Here's some of the good, Nice Gym ,no problem with crowding ,excellent Library , The Kings Court was OK for breakfast ,good omelets, breads etc. Stateroom was adequate ,by no means spacious ,with enough storage for a 13 day cruise . My wife seemed to enjoy the Puzzles that were available on deck 2 forward ,she and a group of people she met onboard spent hours on these 1000 piece puzzles, [ I have no interest in this] My sea days started with a visit to the gym , which was never really crowded, I guess because a good portion of the passengers were in there 70 and 80s , then head up to the Buffet for breakfast , Had my omelet chef trained how I like my omelet by the second day , He was good as I'm picky about any oil in my omelet, I spent at lease 2 hours a day in the casino at the black jack table ,the first night one of my table mates hit it big ,had 5.00 chip on the Lucky Ladies , he was dealt 2 queen of hearts and the dealer had black-jack payoff ,I believe he walked away with 6,250.00 nice on a 5.00 bet , first time I ever saw that in my 10 years of playing blackjack The Bad After a few visits to, the Kings Court for lunch which was always crowded, the lunch selection were only OK limited sandwiches, Sushi was available on certain days and was fresh . Tried dinner [to avoid formal nights] a couple of times and it was not good , seems like they put the better quality cuts out first , but if you show up at 7.30-8.00 it's gone and what was left was either over cooked or Luke warm at best , I decided to rename the Kings Court the Canine Court ,as most of the food I tried was only suitable for a Canine , Instead of thinking what can I choose today ,it turned into what can I possibly stand to try today , most choices were either cold or overcooked . We expected the Britannia Restaurant to be much better ,but we soon found out that it's not much better than the Buffet, although the service was good the waiters tried there best to satisfy us ,but you can't blame the waiter if the steak is tough or the fist is cooked to death , . . Our last QM2 cruise was in 2010 and it was excellent ,overall both service and food has declined considerably since 2010 Our room Horrible pillows , use a Duvet instead of a top sheet , How to cook in the Caribbean, this might be OK for an Alaska Cruise ,but not for the Caribbean .Even with the room temp all the way cold its still way to hot . No interactive TV system ,But did have a nice flat screen TV Overall it appears Cunard is trying to Cut Costs and relying on its past reputation ,to target 1st time cruisers ,that don't have any history to compare more modern newer ships . The Deceptive On about the 3rd sea day we went to the Pursers office to check times in Port as they claimed to have changed the Itinerary , This is when we found out that they were not staying to 10.00 pm in either St Maarten or Barbados , we were told that they never stay past 5.30 and that our travel agent had printed the wrong times . Very Unhappy ,we talked to about 6 other couples that had viewed the same info from different travel agency's, one couple offered to let us make copy's of the Itinerary they had with them ,we brought that to the pursers office ,but they claimed it didn't have enough info . the next day were in St Thomas ,we called out travel agent and had them email a copy of the Itinerary to the ship. Sure enough St Maarten and Barbados were listed as staying to 10.00 PM . They claimed they had to contact Corporate office , a few days later we were contacted by the person in charge of the Pursers claiming that even though we proved them wrong they had the option of changing ports and times at there digression. I kind of expected this ,but they offered to write a letter stating that the itinerary was changed and we might get some compensation from our trip insurance . Right Good luck with that . I feel like we got scammed , these are tricks that you might expect from a used car dealer ,not a claimed 5 star cruise line . We paid for 10 extra hrs as advertised [ bait] and than got zero with no compensation [switch] I would have been satisfied for the 200.00 it cost us to change cruises . I Can't recommend this cruise or ship when they pull stunts like this ,avoid them, even if this was listed by mistake ,they should have offered a retraction ,before we made the final payment ,Not while we had started out cruise. We won't set foot on this ship ever again . Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew ... Read More
There is ONLY 1 Oceanliner in the world like it,and its not to be confused with a cruise ship. Every day was an Event and it wasnt the locations or destinations that made the cruise special it was the the cruise it self, even the crew loved sea days . Its smooth even in the Atlantic, there is a sense of occasion and dining at the princess grill was nothing short of exceptional and with a cellar of over 400,000 bottles on board the choices are plentiful and and fruitful.Every dinner was a dinner party nobody could wait to talk about the day and enjoy the evening .The rooms are spacious the staff is exceptional. I was so impressed that i booked another cruise Now before you think this is a retired persons ship, you are almost correct most have retired in there 40s or semi retired. I have travelled on other lines however if you like a more serene cruise with a sense of occasion with out screaming children this is it .sailing out of New York Harbour has history and probably the most iconic entry/ departure port in the world. The rooms are great , I have say they are better insulated than other liners so you dont hear almost anyone, the downside of this insulation is internet, it is best used in public areas or leave the door ajar. I personally can't wait for the next one, for me and probably more 80% of the passengers on board the only question is "when can we do this again.?" Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
On boarding the QM2 we were once again struck by it's elegance. We were anxious to return once again to sailing on her. Boarding was very easy once we finally got through the traffic back up at Red Hook. The 4 of us went to the ... Read More
On boarding the QM2 we were once again struck by it's elegance. We were anxious to return once again to sailing on her. Boarding was very easy once we finally got through the traffic back up at Red Hook. The 4 of us went to the English pub for fish and chips and when finished found our balcony cabins and saw our luggage already there! Our cabin was beautifully furnished and our cabin attendant anxious to help us in any way. We quickly went on to the best equipped library we have seen. Plenty of best sellers were available. While one couple went to the Veranda restaurant, we proceeded to a beautiful table next to the window and enjoyed our first dinner.Unfortunately, when the 4 of us went to the Veranda restaurant, our steaks were so tough we couldn't eat them!Such a disappointment after a 5 minute talk by waiter on how great they were.I would not go there again. All through the trip the service was outstanding, the wine steward in particular went out of his way to be of service. Our only complaint was the food was a lower standard such as chicken, pork etc. Food was tasty but on a 13 night trip lobster was served once. This was quite different from our last trip that served high quality meats and fish. Entertainment was very good but the guest lectures were outstanding! We had tenders on several of the ports of call, making it impossible for some guests to go as they had mobility problems. On the whole the guests were a mix of different nationalities and blended nicely with each other. We would definitely return to the QM2-hope the food returns to excellence. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their ... Read More
QM2 – NY to Southampton 11th to 18th November 2018 My wife and I are in our mid-60’s and have sailed with Cunard now for 125 days or so since 2011 on all their ships. QM2 is not our favourite ship, but we took advantage of their offer this last summer to, effectively for free, include two nights at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square (room only – normally c300$ per night), plus transfers from JFK to the hotel and from the hotel on the 11th to the cruise terminal. You had to book by telephone or via a travel agent and not online. I insisted on an early morning flight for Friday 9th, this meaning we would have at least 50% of Friday in NY + all-day Saturday, rather than arriving late-pm US time as most did. We booked the cheapest inside cabin for this voyage as there is not much to see from a balcony but sea, mist, waves and rain at this time of the year. How did it all go? The flight was with BA leaving at 0830hrs UK time arriving in JFK c1100hrs US eastern time. BA actually supplied a decent breakfast and service was fine and flight ok. We pre-booked our seats and checked-in online before the flight. On exiting JFK Arrivals, we were met by two very nice Cunard reps’ who greeted us by our first names. It turned out we were the first two on the day of a 100+ total, but the only Cunard passengers on that flight. As a result, they had provided a taxi just for us and we were in our hotel room by 1pm – fantastic. Cunard have a desk in the hotel foyer, manned at certain times and later in the day we were able to confirm transfer times for the Sunday to the ship. Transfer to the ship? This was 100% fine at 1100hrs on the Sunday. Luggage was collected from rooms by porterage before departure, but we had to eyeball it before boarding the coach and likewise at the cruise terminal. The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is basically a large shed with not much to commend it, but as Platinum Cunard World Club Members we bypassed the already mounting huge queues and were onboard by 1300hrs and the large cases arrived shortly afterwards. The cabin? We had 6209, which is an Inside on Deck 6 and as it so happens is directly under the so called ‘Chef’s Galley’ at the after end of the Kings Court Buffet on Deck 7. It is a smallish cabin, albeit with the usual shower and w/c etc., large double bed and sufficient storage space. Unfortunately, during the day one could hear from time to time, food trolleys being moved overhead and at night the distant sound of vacuuming. This was not a terminal problem, but might really irritate some people. If you have a choice, do not choose any cabin anywhere on Deck 6, as Deck 7 is the main self -service buffet, Grills Restaurants + promenade/lifeboat deck are all immediately above. Food? Super meals in Britannia Restaurant (we were second dining) but the buffet was so-so for lunch. Breakfast in the same ‘served’ restaurant or the buffet was 100% fine – decent choices, but probably hotter in the ‘served’ restaurant. The only comment on the dinners is: Why cannot they simply do as any of their eight choices a meat or fish dish without it being covered in fancy sauces. Even roasted Haddock had to come with a weird coconut sprinkling over it all, making it look like a cheap pullover. Tasty it was, but bog-standard fried cod and chips would have been nice as an offering. You can get this in the Golden Lion ‘pub bar’ as one of their lunch menu items, but this was always jam-packed from c1130hrs every day. We had to pretend to be interested in ‘Killer Darts’ between 10.45hrs and 1130hrs to get a table for two for a somewhat early lunch. Afternoon Tea in the Queens Room? Nice, but join the queue early! Speakers and Entertainment? John McCarthy was the headline speaker (Beirut hostage crisis) + a variety of other speakers including a retired RN officer talking about submarine warfare in three sessions + Commodore Connell talking about ‘defence matters’ – he is/was UK Naval Attaché in Washington at the time of the voyage. In the evenings it was the usual diet of song and dance, comedians you haven’t heard of, specialist musicians (finalists but not winners in Britain’s got Talent etc.). On the last night the entire Cunard team did Broadway Rocks, which was very good. Service? Always good and friendly. The downside of the voyage. We will never have an inside cabin again unless it is a cruise with numerous ports of call – 7 days was, for us, claustrophobic. It is nice to have some natural light though a window, or door. Drinks are massively overpriced in comparison to P&O and there is a 15% auto gratuity on every one purchased. For example, the Californian Rose wine we like at dinner was a total of 41.40$ a bottle (say 4 glasses) compared to the same on P&O for a flat £17.50. Cunard are now offering a drinks package for, wait for it, 69$ per day per person when all in the same cabin. That would mean you would spend 966$ for the seven days for the two of you for a half-decent reduced selection of drinks from the menu and some of, but not all, the speciality coffees/teas and water. We did not choose that option – did anyone? Auto gratuities? I joined the long queue on the first day at reception having them removed or reduced. P&O are removing them entirely in May 2019. Champagne Bar? – rarely saw anyone in it in the evenings. A few young people onboard including one or two babies, but by far the average age of passenger must be 60+. Cunard must advertise heavily amongst the LBGT community because there was a significant and noticeable presence onboard – some going out of their way to dress and appear radically different from everyone else. Cunard have dedicated meetings for LBGT, Friends of Dorothy as well as Friends of Bill W on all their ships. This is fine by us, but might be offensive to some. On the other hand, Mrs Essex Man noticed that many of our older ladies seemed to feel that ‘glitter’ in its various forms was the in-thing this year. Evenings can be boring – you either have the bars, usually with some form of musical accompaniment, the theatre, G32 which is a small dance floor with a group or DJ who seems to like ABBA, or the Queens Court huge dance floor and seating area. This is predominantly for ballroom dancing which is not everyone’s cup of tea nowadays in-spite of Strictlys’ success. Films – poor choice and always at wrong times. Dinner in Britannia – Cunard must introduce Freedom Dining like P&O and other cruise lines ASAP. 8.30pm is too late to dine for many of us, but 6pm is also too early for some and why go to the buffet when you are paying a lot of money for proper service? We have never had a problem getting a table in Freedom Dining on P&O, particularly if one is prepared to share a table for 6 or 8. It is nice to meet other people – and you will probably never see them again on the same voyage if they are boring. In summary, the whole thing was okay, but Cunard are now living in a bygone era and having trouble filling QM2 (at least trans-Atlantic). Captain Wells (a great guy) admitted as much when he mentioned that QM2 will be trialling voyages going via Dublin, Liverpool. Iceland and Canada before arriving at NY – in other words, more of a cruise than a straight seven-day voyage A to B. And price? It was £1240 each including the cabin for 7 nights, flights, hotel and all transfers for the total of 9 days, so it was a bargain. We spent a grand total of 419$ on drinks, a photo + a reduced gratuity of 50$ each for the 7 days. To be honest though, we had more fun on MSC Magnifica in early-October for £700 each INCLUDING their standard Classic drinks package and all in a Balcony Cabin for 7 days around Northern-Europe, and we did not starve either! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I have sailed on Cunard before - QE2, Queen Mary (this was the second crossing and the new Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mary is superior to the Queen Elizabeth in my opinion (the lack of the Chart Room on the Queen Elizabeth bothered me). ... Read More
I have sailed on Cunard before - QE2, Queen Mary (this was the second crossing and the new Queen Elizabeth. The Queen Mary is superior to the Queen Elizabeth in my opinion (the lack of the Chart Room on the Queen Elizabeth bothered me). Although Cunard is to an extent coasting on an old name, it remains the most traditional line. There is a dress code for dinner along with several formal nights. These are customs that I very much approve of and that attract me to Cunard. On the whole I found service good however I do wish that Cunard would return to the former five day crossing schedule. Seven days is too long. By day six you're studying the ship's programme looking for things to do. For me the Queen Mary is transportation and not just an excuse for eating a lot. A crossing is not the same as a cruise and there should be distinctions in style. Aside from breakfast (room service) I took all meals in the Britannia Restaurant. Food ranged from average to good. Never memorable however. Service was generally satisfactory however the wine steward was under a lot of pressure to serve too many people and as a result it took far too long to get a drink. Many people have complained about the price of drinks. They are not inexpensive however I found bottles of wine to be comparable to many restaurants on the ground. There were a number of speakers. Journalist John McCarthy was by far the most interesting. His first two lectures drew a full house and had people sitting on the edge of their seats. A New Yorker Magazine cartoonist spoke once or twice. I found his presentation unpolished and surprisingly dull - I'd expected far more from a New Yorker contributor. There were other speakers of moderate interest. An upbeat and affable British naval attache spoke glowingly of excellent US-UK military cooperation. The lecture series was satisfactory but I'd encourage Cunard to seek out more dynamic speakers like Mr. McCarthy. Film selection was poor. No thought seems to go into the choice of films. Given the average age of passengers, screening a few 1940's / 1950's classics would be a good idea but Cunard seems to lack the imagination or interest required to break away from the generic selections that are probably made by some outsourced company. I'd suggest hiring a film historian to give background of classic films and then field some post screening questions - but again this would require some effort by Cunard that they seem unwilling to exert. There was a wine tasting which was priced outrageous. Though I'm a wine enthusiast I refused to pay the price they asked for. I never attended the night club entertainment but table mates said it was amateurish. I did attend the piano recitals which were enjoyable. There were always long queues for afternoon tea so I stayed away. I don't know why Cunard cannot resolve this problem. To attend the planetarium shows you had to queue up for tickets hours in advance of the shows. I found this inconvenient so chose not to go. Library is well stocked but lights on the glass shelves is blinding and irritating. On the whole the ship affords a pleasant experience for those who enjoy relatively traditional crossings. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
The great dame continues to plough endlessly from New York to Southampton and back. Oceanview cabin 04015 was huge a long walk to the door, larger than the balcony cabin next door. Britannia Restaurant was consistently good in the ... Read More
The great dame continues to plough endlessly from New York to Southampton and back. Oceanview cabin 04015 was huge a long walk to the door, larger than the balcony cabin next door. Britannia Restaurant was consistently good in the evening, Kings court buffet a bit of a battle ground. Entertainment was ok, but Cunard continue to use the same shows time and time again. This was my second transatlantic, so not as exiting or overwhelming as the first, but would I do it again, yes of course. FOD / LGBT meetings a highlight, spa great. Boarding and disembarking was very easy in NY and Southampton. Strongly recommend the Red Hook Ferry to Pier 11 in down town Manhattan a steal at just $2.75, slides through the traffic and a two minute walk to the ship. Drinks on board are overpriced, but take your own gin and it is not too expensive, a blast. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We very much enjoyed our first Eastbound transatlantic crossing in the QM2 in August of 2018. There was only one disappointment - the seas were too calm. The ship is after all a liner and it would have been fun to see her in some more ... Read More
We very much enjoyed our first Eastbound transatlantic crossing in the QM2 in August of 2018. There was only one disappointment - the seas were too calm. The ship is after all a liner and it would have been fun to see her in some more lively ocean conditions. Some of the new friends we met aboard suggested we could count on heavier seas and or storms later in the year. The generous welcome back onboard credit ($150 per person), the prospect of some free Internet as Gold members now and low prices in November got my attention. So much so that I grabbed a booking. Getting the credit to "take" for both of us was impossible online and proved challenging for the PCCs – one had the idea I would pay for the booking as is and they would somehow refund me later. The only balcony cabin left at the lowest price was a guarantee- sheltered deck 4 aft and deck 8 obstructed view were a bit more- I rolled the dice which resolved shortly in a slight upgrade -a deck 4 sheltered balcony midships. Which is by the way perfect in a bumpy sea. We were by stairwell C – we developed a pneumonic- C for Chow, D for Dancing. We were wait listed for early dinner- given how last minute we booked I was astonished to see it cleared for us. We are dancers, and a fair number of the recorded dance opportunities in in the Queens Room were right at 8:45 as an example. The main events were always at 9:45 however. The mystery of the missing dance couple dating from at least August was solved- Shane and Tiffany from the production company got an award for sitting in and helping in that role since possibly June. They are leaving the ship this week. We were delighted to see a bachata and even a country two step in some of the recorded sessions offered. The announcer, when present, was ear splittingly loud. We got a twelve piece orchestra for Big Band Night- up from the normal eight pieces every other night and for the tea dance. There was a saxophone section and an excellent clarinet. I know Cunard is having trouble with the “largest dance floor at sea” claim any more – but how about “the greatest commitment to ballroom dancing afloat.” Note to readers- I think a large wooden dance floor in a dining room, partly covered with tables – present on a few competing large ships - does not count. Or they could use “largest active dance floors at sea.” I asked those in the know about hot appetizers in the Chart Room. We saw some cold appetizers being delivered – “the hot ones were a food safety issue- how can we ensure, lacking our own kitchen they would remain at a safe temperature.” The cold ones can be properly refrigerated and issued out on demand. Britannia dining was again hit and miss. Service was uniformly excellent. I got an answer to one question. On the Queen Victoria, the head waiters were everywhere, on QM2 not so much. Our waiter team were fine and seemed not too overworked. One of the leaders said the QM2 main dining room was “1100 covers- each head waiter has nine or ten stations” – which explains why I did not see them as much. We were baffled by some of the menu choices and some of the items delivered. The portion sizes were not too huge- just right. The Korean spring rolls were sent back and the cock a leekie soup was more like dark bullion as an example. Desserts got an “A” grade, and most soups were fine. The last night had a polenta and artichoke entrée that was amazing. This is a sturdy ship that handles strong wind and large seas with grace. One of our speakers, a Royal Navy submariner, who had been on the previous crossing made a comment about Force 10 conditions and the advantages in his service of being 600 feet underwater. The previous voyage reportedly saw “hurricane force” winds and seas for a while. The shared dining tables never failed to deliver good conversation. There was quite a bit of excitement about trivia games – the best players were being actively recruited. The pub lunches (served 12-2:30) were excellent. The pub was always jammed. We found the tiny table in back (#30) which was the last available. I did not ask if the food here came from the central galley or was locally prepared. One day a large wave slapped across all the windows in the pub, dimming the light- a cheer rang out. We tried lunch in Carinthia – they had artfully prepared small plates. The desserts were good also. My personal favorite (usually in Britannia and or Golden Lion) were the “puddings”- a large bowl containing a baked good surrounded by a sauce. We avoided King’s Court all week- but did have a question on the role of the Chef’s Galley space. The layout overall up there is quite choppy. There was a good selection of weights in the gym. We noted the careful design of the promenade deck- it was usable in many types of wind. The ship performed well in a following or quartering wind and sea- the decks were lovely if you subtracted the speed of the ship from the wind speed there was often not much left. I slipped an extra 20 pounds above the prepaid gratuity to Larry, our steward. He was effective, cheerful and unobtrusive. I said hello to Nancy one floor above from the last crossing. Cunard runs a happy ship which is not a guarantee in this industry. The Cunard bus to Heathrow left about nine and pulled in at 10:57. If you were stressing about making a flight this was a sure thing- on a Sunday. Disembarking was as stress free as I have seen in about 17 cruises. We had an “only on Cunard” moment after boarding at 12:00 or so – the wait was minimal and we asked aboard when our cabin would be ready- “why it is ready for you now sir”- and our luggage was there soon after that. More such moments, which business school text books might refer to as competitive advantages: 1 It was possible to find places without the sickening piped in music which is for some reason a policy on other, lesser lines -this is good for those reading or writing or wishing to remain sane 2 Tea kettles in the rooms (one cannot make tea from warm, coffee flavored water) 3 Very hot water is used to make tea in the dining rooms – boiling water seems to be a deadly safely hazard on other lines 4 Dance hosts and ballrooms on every ship (in his 2014 book, QM2 designer Steven Payne says the QV and QE were stretched versions of the HAL Vista class ships, “the additional length being used for the incorporation of a ballroom…” ) 5 Themed formal balls 6 No announcements selling things 7 Smoke free casino on every ship 8 A large selection of tap beers and ales on every ship 9 Authentic pub fare every day on every ship 10 Quality speakers – the naval history and stellar physics talks were amazingly good 11 10,000 books- my wife found her book club selection- which was wait listed at home 12 Promenade decks on every ship – we were out every day but did firmly grip the inside railings in the heaviest wind and waves 13 Forward facing observation decks – on lesser lines these are converted to cabins or revenue spaces Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We travelled Eastbound on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in November, so expected possible rough seas, which did not really materialise, which was good! The QM2 is a beautiful ship, one of the last "Liners" - as opposed to cruise ... Read More
We travelled Eastbound on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 in November, so expected possible rough seas, which did not really materialise, which was good! The QM2 is a beautiful ship, one of the last "Liners" - as opposed to cruise ships - and the food (Princess Grill) and the service both in the restaurant and cabin, was immaculate. There is something to do from 6.30 am - 2.00 am if you wished to be constantly occupied, and what is offered is very varied and interesting. Our cabin was lovely with comfortable beds and a decent sized shower room. Only quibble is that it would be nice to have a shelf or two on which to put personal toiletries. However, the wine is horrendously expensive. Just two glasses of very ordinary NZ Sauvignon Blanc (currently selling in Tescos at £7.00 a bottle) was $51 and a bottle of NZ Cloudy Bay SB was $65.00. And two gin and tonics in the Carinthia Lounge were $21.00 which, seeing as they are mostly tonic water, seems really excessive. But the main rip-off on board is the photographic department. Their prices are very high, but they know they have a "captive audience", and everybody is going to want to purchase their photo with the Captain, if available, so they can charge $35.00 for an 8 x 10 inch photo. They sent round a card which said: "Spend over $90.00 in the Photo Gallery tomorrow and get a free photo". This implies that if you spend, say, $92.00 you are entitled to a free photo. We ordered $119.00 worth of photos and asked how to get the free photo but were informed that we had not spent enough to entitle us to the freebie because, if they deducted $35.00 from $119.00 we were under the $90.00 limit. This seemed to contravene the terms of the offer, but in order to get the free photo we had to order another photo which brought our total to approx. $150.00. They then deducted the cost of the "free" photo, which brought our final total to $129.80. The offer stated unequivocally that you are entitled to a free photo if you spend "over $90": we spent well over that but still had to spend more to get the free photo. We should have just stayed with our order and forgotten about the so-called "free" photo. We think this is downright dishonesty, and sadly, because of this bad experience, I shall downgrade the "Onboard Experience" to two stars. It would have been five stars otherwise. The photographic department is run by a company in Southampton, to whom we have written, but they have not bothered to reply. Apart from the sour taste left by the photo department , we really enjoyed our journey on the QM2. It is a wonderful experience, the staff cannot do enough for you and we had a truly good time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This cruise was part of the celebration of my wife’s 70th birthday, but unfortunately there wasn’t much to enjoy on board. The food in the Queens Grill restaurant was way below what we expected or what is advertised in Cunard’s ... Read More
This cruise was part of the celebration of my wife’s 70th birthday, but unfortunately there wasn’t much to enjoy on board. The food in the Queens Grill restaurant was way below what we expected or what is advertised in Cunard’s literature. The fish was always over cooked and the same applied to the lobster. Being honest the only main meal enjoyed was the rack of lamb, all the rest of the meals were below average which was not what we expected. The maitre’d was very off handed and gave the impression that he did not care when we pointed out that there was a problem. You would think that if a customer was not happy with something that he would make sure that everything would be satisfactory for the rest of the cruise.(especially in the Queens Grill) The stateroom was kept clean and the butler was pleasant when seen. The staff throughout the ship all seemed to be on a downer as even a good morning was met with a frown. The theme of the cruise was Ancestry and the lectures were very poor, one of the lectures was held in a small room which could only squeeze in 200 people and there was more than that outside complaining that they could not get in. Overall the cruise was very disappointing as we have sailed with Cunard before and never had any complaints. Will we sail with Cunard again? Will have to see if reviews indicate that their standards are improving and returning to what they were. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I had the time of my life on the Queen Mary 2. She is elegant and beautifully decorated, with an Art Deco theme which reflects the original Queen Mary: walnut veneers and etched frosted glass, artwork throughout, and cased mementos of ... Read More
I had the time of my life on the Queen Mary 2. She is elegant and beautifully decorated, with an Art Deco theme which reflects the original Queen Mary: walnut veneers and etched frosted glass, artwork throughout, and cased mementos of Cunard liners past and present. Glassware, tableware and bedding are all of high quality. Service and food in the Britannia Restaurant were good, and I ate most of my meals there. I did eat in the self-service King's Court a few times; there is a good choice of food but many passengers push and elbow others out of the way. I even had my things moved to one side by people who wanted my table. There is a wide variety of entertainment and I was kept interested and amused for the two weeks of my voyage, and didn't hear any criticisms other than that some people were unable to get a good seat for more popular events. I booked a city tour of New York, good value but it set off at 8am on a Sunday morning, and the city that never sleeps hadn't woken up. Embarkation went smoothly but disembarkation was an utter shambles. To be fair to Cunard, the ship was berthed at a different terminal at short notice, and Cunard staff were not on hand. Luggage was just dumped haphazardly across a large room and there was a free-for-all with hundreds of people searching for their luggage. I will travel with Cunard again, definitely on the QM2 and probably will try another ship from the same fleet. Read Less
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